Tuesday, July 20, 2010


When Ralf Nader exposed that the car industry was aware of faults with cars that would cause death, the industry spent millions of dollars on private investigators trying to collect 'dirt' on Ralf Nader. Bean counters had shown that a recall of cars would cost x million dollars and that cover ups of the death and denial and legal fees would cost less. The problem was Ralf Nader was making them look bad and exposing the corporate bad boy behaviour. So the simple solution was to do an 'ad hominem' and smear the individual. The only trouble there was that Ralf Nader was squeaky clean.

This is so common in politics today that in the Southern United States where politics has reached a whole new level of sophistication it's said that even a congressman can do anything except be caught with a boy in his bed or a dead woman.

The Ralf Nader's of the world are rare and some might say 'boring' since apparently they didn't even 'not inhale' a marijuana cigarette.

Transparency is used in the social sense as representing openess, communication and accountability. The very rich and powerful have always been able to 'cover up' and commonly 'discredit' anyone who attempts to expose any of the irregularities of their behaviour. Corporations employ 'fixers" for the very purpose of maintaining the 'appearances' for the sake of profits. Tiger Woods naturally lacked transparency and didn't pay his 'fixers' so Nike and others distanced themselves from him.

Most citizens can't afford the amount of money that will cover up 'sextings, stories of abuse of crack cocaine or any manner of indiscretion. Ralf Nader's are rare. What is common is for the powerful to have the power to 'cover up'.

By being open, being transparent, and having accountability individuals protect themselves ironically from those who are closed and have no accountability themselves. "We are as sick as our secrets'.

The end of the Cold War was supposed to be the end of the era of secrecy. In the new era of transparency hypocrisy was supposed to be dead. The Cold War era taught us all that you could only trust those who had been exposed. The Nelson Mandela's of the world had been stripped and laid bare so they could be trusted. It was right instead to be suspicious of those who played their cards close to their chest.

Ralf Nader's are rare. Cover ups are common. The rest of us had best rely on transparency otherwise everyone for example, who is on Facebook today will one day be excluded from public appointment.

Once again, the Shadow Men and Women will be ascendant and the light will go out from Public Affairs. That is unless we continue to act with transparency ourselves, demand it of leadership and get beyond expecting everyone to be Ralf Nader. At best we can be less judgemental and appreciate the Nelson Mandelas.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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